Many of us have certain triggers that can lead us astray from our healthy eating vow.
A trigger food is a specific food that often sets you off on a course of overeating where control is lost. The most common trigger foods are calorie-dense combinations of sugar and fat (ice cream or cookies, anyone?) or fat and salt (nuts, potato chips and French fries top the list).
Sure, some triggers include foods such as salty snacks, chocolate and alcoholic beverages. However, a trigger can consist of anything, including events, persons or smells.
We pretty much all have a few triggers that can set off an avalanche of unwanted indulgences.
You should consider all trigger foods as a disruption to your diet. But it’s important to know that what triggers such unwanted eating is different for everyone. Social cues, emotional highs and lows, taste and even economics are just a few ways triggers can cause you to lose control of what you eat.
Food is not a crutch for happiness or any emotion. So it’s important to avoid trigger foods for a given amount of time and then reintroduce the food at a later point when these triggers are gone.
The good news: It is possible to feel in control of a trigger and once you can overcome the trigger, you can eat these foods again.
It is also possible that what triggers you to eat too much now may not trigger the same reaction once you can identify and gain control of your eating.
There are ways to control triggered eating.
1. Do not buy the food. Keep your distance.
2. Mind and attitude go hand-in-hand. Your mental attitude towards eating a small amount and feeling good versus punishing yourself for having a little bit of what may not exactly be on your plan can make or break whether you achieve your goal.
3. Find comfort by enriching your life with things other than food.
4. Keep tabs on your hunger and cravings and do not eat a possible trigger food if you have not had a full meal first.
5. When you are eating outside your home, if there are foods that you may want to eat but are not on your plan, pick one. You do not have to sabotage your whole diet on one meal.
eDiets Chief Editor John McGran has an extensive background in online dieting and tabloid news. He covers the celebrity beat for eDiets.